One of the most famous Christmas stories of all time made me think of my own life.

My purpose, my struggles, my existence.

I remember back in May 2010 it was my birthday. What a beautiful morning it was as I headed to work in my black mustang convertible. On my way I encountered a bear crossing the road in front of me. The Bear is my spirit animal so naturally I thought this was a good omen for the up-and-coming year. Good job, great family, good health what more could anyone want.

3 days earlier

I was at the DMV to renew my driver’s license that was ready to expire. The day was hot and muggy. Inside the building was even worse with wall-to-wall people. It took 2 hours to renew my driver’s license until I could escape that sweat shop.

Moving Ahead

Let me Move ahead now 9 days.

I was slammed with what was later diagnosed with supposedly H1N1 flu. Stopped me dead in my tracks. I wonder where I might have gotten that bug?

The foreshadowing of this is going to be a wonderful year by my friend the bear seemed to take a turn for the worse. Now that I think back, it probably was a warning sign.

It was a full year of sickness, bad working environment, and frustrating medical system. I tried everything to find out what was wrong with me. (5 years and 7 doctors later called it Crohn’s Disease.)

Back to 2010

I guess I was hopeful that one day I would wake up and be normal again.

Today I was thinking of George Bailey in the Christmas Classic ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’.

He started out with a plan for his life. A wonderful life. What more could anyone want.

“I know what I am going to do tomorrow, and the next day, and next year and the year after that,” says George Bailey in ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’.

With every ounce of his being, he dreamed, planned, and knew what he wanted in life.

Then that life plan he envisioned changed.

He slid into a life filled with love, marriage, family and took on the responsibilities of his father’s business.

At first glance George’s life didn’t look that bad.

When you add additional responsibilities to your life that equals more stress and pressure.

As we move along our life’s path, possibly not our chosen path, we trip and stumble our way along. What happens when a hurdle comes along, even a mountain of trouble we cannot imagine we can climb?

How did George handle his mountain of trouble?

What can we learn from George’s transformation?

We all start our adult journey through life with hope, a plan and a glimmer in our eye. The possibilities seem endless. (The older we get that path narrows to a trail. Well, more like a path along a steep cliff. I digress.)

Life as George knew it was filled with work, finances and a growing family. We all love our kids but along with them come side effects.

Work can have its challenges too, depending on the responsibility you have.

When you have this sometimes-lethal combination of responsibilities the wheels can fall off the Life Cart one by one. With George he lost his balance because his work wheel fell off and it ended up affecting the rest of his life

He got to the point where he felt his life was worth more dead than alive.

Sometimes in the depth of despair we tend to under value our contribution in this life.

That’s how I began to feel. When I was sick and now unemployed, I felt like what’s the point of my life now.

You can’t judge the value of your life on your current circumstances as it can change in the blink of an eye.

George found that out. Wait and see.

What was the impact if he had never been born? When he viewed a life where he never existed, it had a domino effect on all who surrounded him. Not all the changes were good.

Clarence: “You’ve been given a great gift, George. A chance to see what the world would be like without you. Strange isn’t it, each man’s life touches so many others.”

George Bailey was always helping others in need. That came natural to him. When he got to a place where he could not even help himself, he thought it was over.

After witnessing his non-existent life, George desperately wanted his life back. Even the life filled with insurmountable problems.

We are not an island; we are surrounded by a circle of friends and family. Sometimes we have to give others the opportunity to give back. It’s our prideful self that makes it difficult to accept the help of others.

The community that George always helped, stepped forward to help him. It was a humbling but heart touching experience. One he would never forget.

“Remember, George: No man is a failure who has friends.” 

– Clarence, “It’s A Wonderful Life”

What I learned from It’s a Wonderful Life

You cannot ensure what your life will be like.

No matter what your life, you can make a difference.

Accepting help from others is a blessing for them too.

Life is worth living

As George Bailey found out, the best laid plans don’t always work out. Or, do they? Maybe they just might be wrapped in a different package.


 

“You see George you really had a wonderful life.
Don’t you see what a mistake it would be to throw it all away.”

– Clarence, “It’s A Wonderful Life”
Share This